Ganguly bats for Indian cricket team despite early exit from T20 World Cup - GulfToday

Ganguly bats for Indian cricket team despite early exit from T20 World Cup


Sourav Ganguly signs a bat for one of his young fans at Sharjah International Book Fair.

Mohammad Abdullah, Senior Sports Reporter
Former Indian captain and BCCI president Sourav Ganguly jumped to the defence of the Indian cricket team despite an early exit of the hosts from the T20 World Cup.

Indian team, who lost both their opening matches against arch-rivals Pakistan and new nemeses New Zealand, failed to make it to the knock-out stage.

They won their last three matches in a row but the other results in the tournament did not go in their favour, which resulted in the premature ejection from the cricket razzmatazz.

Speaking on the sidelines of Sharjah International Book Fair (SIBF), in an exclusive interview to the Gulf Today, Ganguly played down the talks of India’s dismal performance and threw his weight behind the team.

“We have been playing good cricket of late. Sometimes it happens albeit it is a very strong team. We have won a lot of matches and tournaments around the world and one-bad tourney cannot take all that away from the team,” said Ganguly.

“We made it to the final of the Test Championship and were leading England in the Test series before the last game was called off. Sometimes one or two bad outing makes all the difference and this is a commonplace in all the sports not only in cricket.

“We also defeated Australia twice on their home turf that is something no team had achieved before. So don’t think there is anything wrong with team, it is just a couple of bad days out there in the middle that spoiled our campaign.”

Ganguly, who scored two consecutive centuries on debut, is India’s one of the most successful captain. Till date, he remains the only Indian captain to win 11 Test matches overseas. After retiring from cricket, Ganguly took up administrative roles. He served Cricket Association of West Bengal (CAB) before being elected as the BCCI chief in 2019.

When Ganguly took over, Indian cricket was going through a tumultuous phase as the board was being taken care of by an interim committee appointed by the apex court. He put the things back in the right perspective and shifted focus to cricket only.  

Ganguly wished the new coach Rahul Dravid best of luck for his new innings with the Indian team.

“Rahul, himself was a great batsman and understand the games well. He has an insight and a vision. I wish all the luck for his future endeavor and hope he will take the Indian team to a new height,” he added.

Ganguly picked New Zealand as favourites to win the T20 World Cup. Australia and New Zealand will face off in the final in Dubai on Sunday.

“I think New Zealand are favourites, I don’t know why but I have an intuition. Someone, like Mathew Wade can come and hit three sixes in row to pull away a victory for Australia but for me as of now, it is New Zealand,” he stressed.

New Zealand are in stupendous form as they are playing the third final in two years. They lost to England in the 50-over World Cup final in 2019 on a boundary count rule, defeated India in the first ever final of the Test Championship earlier this year and are all set to play in another title showdown in the third format of the game.

Ganguly also hailed the Steve Waugh-led Australia as the best ever team has even seen.

“Since, I started understanding cricket, I have never seen any team as good as the Steve’s Australia. They were a bunch of very talented players, clinical in planning and execution. They were impeccable and almost invincible.”

Ganguly is credited to have instilled the winning instinct in the team when he took over as the captain. He is renowned for his chutzpah and taking sassy decision in the best interest of the team from his hay days.

Among the most memorable moments of his career, Ganguly rated series win against Pakistan at their home turf and beating Australia in home series in 2001-02 as the best.

“I can vividly recall, we had lost first Test and in the second match at the Eden Gardens, we were following up. VVS Laxman and Dravid put up a valiant display of batting as we went on win the match and series both.

“I think that series was the turning point, which helped gel as a team and we won many series thereafter both at home and overseas.

“The other occasion was triumph against Pakistan in 2003-04. It was a big moment for us and helped us scale new heights. It made the team more fearless and attacking,” he concluded.

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